Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet (Google’s parent), Amazon and Facebook dominate the tech landscape. Their dominance is so broad they account for more than 20% of the S&P 500.
There are many things to admire about Apple’s hardware and software. Apple make great looking (albeit expensive) hardware. Over the years key successes include the iPhone, iPad, iPod, and the MacBook Air. The company designs its own hardware and software. This gives them the power to make an operating system and suite of apps that are tailor-made and optimized for their hardware. Apple also operates the Apple Music and Apple TV media distribution platforms.
Mac OS X is Apple’s proprietary operating system for its line of Macintosh computers. Its interface, known as Aqua, is highly polished and built on top of a BSD derivative (Darwin). There’s a whole raft of proprietary applications that are developed by Apple for their operating software. This software is not available for Linux and there’s no prospect of that position changing.
Notes is a notetaking app designed to jot down quick thoughts or to save longer notes filled with checklists, images, web links, scanned documents, handwritten notes, or sketches. It’s proprietary software.
We recommend the following free and open source alternatives to Apple Notes.
Joplin is a free, open source note taking and to-do application, which can handle a large number of notes organized into notebooks.
The notes are searchable, can be copied, tagged and modified either from the applications directly or from your own text editor. The notes are in Markdown format.
Joplin was designed as a replacement for Evernote and so can import complete Evernote notebooks, as well as notes, tags, resources (attached files) and note metadata (such as author, geo-location, etc.) via ENEX files.
Tusk is billed as a feature-laden, open source, community-driven, free Evernote app used by people in more than 140 countries.
Zim Desktop Wiki (Zim) is an open source graphical text editor used to maintain a collection of wiki pages.
Each page can contain links to other pages, simple formatting and images. Pages are stored in a folder structure, like in an outliner, and can have attachments. Creating a new page is as easy as linking to a nonexistent page.
All data is stored in plain text files with wiki formatting. Various plugins provide additional functionality, including a task list manager, an equation editor, a tray icon, and support for version control.
CherryTree is a hierarchical note taking application, featuring rich text and syntax highlighting, storing data in a single xml or sqlite file. It offers a good range of features.
Simplenote offers a simple way to keep notes.
For more notes programs, read this roundup.
All articles in this series:
|Alternatives to Apple's Products|
|Bonjour is an implementation of zero-configuration networking; technologies that includes service discovery, address assignment, and hostname resolution.|
|Boot Camp is a utility that comes with a Mac which lets users switch between macOS and Windows. The utility also guides users through non-destructive disk partitioning.|
|Calendar is a personal calendar app supporting multiple accounts, colour code work, family and personal events, event support, as well as calendar invitations.|
|Chess is a traditional chess game played on a well rendered board with a set of realistic 3-D pieces. It's actually a Unix-based chess program, Sjeng.|
|Compressor is a video and audio media compression and encoding application with support for common formats.|
|Console is a system utility which collects log messages that are generated from your computer and connected devices. The output lets users check performance issues and resolve problems.|
|Contacts is a computerized address book included with the Apple operating systems iOS, iPadOS and macOS. It includes cloud synchronization capabilities.|
|Dictionary is a small utility that lets users easily get definitions of words and phrases from a variety of sources.|
|Disk Utility is a system utility for performing disk and disk volume-related tasks on macOS.|
|FaceTime is a videotelephony product for making video and audio calls. FaceTime forces many to stay locked into a proprietary world.|
|FileMaker is a relational database application with a graphical user interface and good security features.|
|Final Cut Pro is a series of non-linear video editing software programs. Log and transfer video, edit, process the video, and output to a wide variety of formats.|
|GarageBand is a line of digital audio workstations for creating music and podcasts offering a complete sound library.|
|KeyNote is a simple and elegant presentation software that's part of the iWork productivity suite.|
|Logic Pro is a Digital Audio Workstation and MIDI sequencer providing software instruments, audio effects and recording facilities for music synthesis.|
|Mail is a simple email client offering the ability to send, receive, and view email with good organizing capabilities.|
|MainStage is a music application designed for use in live performance. This software lets you run a live rig. Transform your keyboard, guitar, or vocal performance with an enormous collection of plug-ins and sounds.|
|Maps is a web mapping service that's available in over 200 regions around the world offering curated guides.|
|Messages is instant messaging software for sending messages, images, videos, and documents. There's location data and stickers.|
|Motion creates and edits motion graphics, titling for video production and film production, and 2D and 3D compositing for visual effects.|
|Notes is a notetaking app designed to jot down quick thoughts or to save longer notes filled with checklists, images, web links, scanned documents, handwritten notes, or sketches.|
|Numbers is a spreadsheet application which uses a free-form “canvas” approach that demotes tables to one of many different media types placed on a page.|
|Pages is a word processor that's part of the iWork productivity suite. It's marketed as an easy-to-use application that allows users to quickly create documents.|
|Photo Booth takes photos and videos with an iSight camera. iSight is a brand name used by Apple to refer to cameras on various devices.|
|Photos is a photo management and editing application. Organize your collection into albums, or keep your photos organized automatically with smart albums.|
|Preview is more than just an image viewer. The software provides a full set of markup tools. And it's a PDF editor.|
|Reminders is a task management program that allows users to create lists and set notifications.|
|Safari is a graphical web browser which uses the WebKit and Nitro engines. It's the default web browser for Macintosh computers.|
|Screenshot lets you take a screenshot of the entire screen, a portion of it, or an open window.|
|Shazam identifies music, movies, advertising, and television shows. There’s nothing more annoying than hearing a new song not knowing the identity of the artist.|
|Stickies is a small utility that lets users keep notes, lists and pictures in sticky notes on the desktop.|
|Stocks lets you view stock quotes, interactive historical data charts and current breaking business news.|
|System Information provides a system report containing detailed information about a Mac including its hardware specifications, networking interfaces, and installed software.|
|Terminal provides a command line interface to control the UNIX-based operating system that lurks below macOS.|
|TextEdit is a basic word processor and text editor. It can open documents created in other word processing apps and can create HTML documents.|
|VoiceOver is a screen-reader that tells you exactly what’s happening on your device.|
|Xcode provides developers a unified workflow for user interface design, coding, testing, and debugging. It supports source code for many programming languages including Swift, C, C++, Python, Ruby and more.|
CherryTree offers LaTeX math equations rendering. Sweet!
We were 100% Microsoft for desktops/laptops at my job, and I really loved using OneNote. My wife and I use Linux at home though, and I wanted something with similar capabilities on Linux, and discovered Zim (which is #3 in your list) several years ago, and have been using, and loving it since!
Guess I should give Zim a whirl.
Thanks for mentioning Zim! Well deserved and often ignored. It was my goto for years before and during my transition to Emacs/org/org-roam and sometimes I wish I had stuck with it!